CWW: Big Dipper & Juneteenth Festivals on Saturday

2014 Big Dipper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival
Saturday, June 28, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Elm Park, Worcester
$5 for ages 10 and up
$1 for ages 4 – 9
FREE for 3 and under

The ice cream is such a good deal and there are a lot of activities for the kids.  Highly recommended, especially if you believe in feeding children the occasional all-ice-cream lunch.

Also on Saturday: the Juneteenth Festival at Institute Park, from 1-7pm.

(Photo: Scoops, a Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licensed image from LA Wad’s photostream.)

CWW: Free Fun Fridays, Week 1

Every year, the Highland Street Foundation offers free admission at different museums and cultural venues on Fridays in the summer.

This Friday is the first Free Fun Friday, and offers admission to the following venues:

Worcester Art Museum
Tanglewood (registration info on the website)
Franklin Park Zoo
Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Sports Museum Boston
MassMoCAMIT Museum

Also of note:

Next Wednesday, July 2, the deCordova Museum will have free admission!

Discovery Museums in Acton are free every Friday evening in the summer.

And if you need more tips on saving on museums, please visit my page (and send me suggestions as needed).


We had five City Manager Listening Sessions and all we got was this lousy job posting

I’d like to formally apologize to the city for requesting an executive search firm in our quest for a new city manager.

If I’d known that the search would consist of some “help wanted” ads, a sloppily crafted Microsoft Publisher PDF document (7 typefaces!) and a Bill-Feegbeh-baiting link (“Invitation to Apply for City Manager“), I would have offered to pay Keytar Bear for the months it would have taken to distract the populace from the embarrassment.

As it is, I appreciate the sense of humor of whoever noted in Worcester’s demographic data that the MBTA commuter rail to Boston is 65 minutes.  I’ve found that’s extremely accurate as long as you forget to wind your watch in the morning.

And the Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate gave Worcester a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most times the word ‘vision’ used in a single bullet-pointed line”:

Visionary Leader who embraces bold vision and moves the vision forward

I’m super glad no one found the following personal characteristics to be in conflict:

  • Person of conviction with a strong backbone and self confidence
  • Checks ego at the door — gives credit to Council — promotes Council policy

Because if there was one thing we heard over and over again at the City Manager Listening Sessions, was that we really need to find a city manager who gives credit to the City Council.

Honestly, I hope the winning candidate is the one who, in addition to his C.V. and cover letter, includes a printed copy of this job description to the recruiter with all the typos marked in red.  At this point, I’d settle for a Chief Proofreading Officer.

To wit:

  • The City is forty miles west of Boston has excellent interstate highway connections as well as bus, train and airport services. (run-on sentence, first page)
  • Worcester has transformed itself into a leader in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, … and an academia (first page)
  • The Worcester region is home to thirteen colleges including the UMass Medical School, … Worcester State College, Community College [sic] (first page)
  • Its principal Dr. Sheila Harrity was selected by Metlife/NASSP as 2014’s national Principal of [sic] (first page)
  • Understands the diversity of Worcester and it’s various neighborhoods (fourth page)
  • Pictures courtesy of the City of Worces[sic] (first page)

(And that wasn’t even trying!  Yes, I’m hoping someone else finds the missing possessive apostrophe on page 2!)

The council spent months not being very serious about finding a city manager because it was only intent on trying to entice Ed Augustus to go back on his word and take the job.  Now that time is of the essence, the best we seem capable of is a document full of errors and a job description that, when it is not vague, is full of contradictions.  A serious candidate would take one look at this stuff and run in the opposite direction.

Before we embarrass ourselves further, let’s get some of City Hall’s brighter minds together and clean up this document.  Thoroughly spell-check and edit for grammar, clarity, and repetitious word usage.  Adjust the job description so that one requirement doesn’t cancel out another.  Two or three typefaces should be plenty.  Ask a graphic designer to lay out the document properly so that it actually looks appealing.

When someone applies for a job, they do their best to put some polish on their documents to make a good first impression.  To attract the best applicants, Worcester should also put its best foot forward.

CWW: TouchTomorrow and Day of Play this weekend

TouchTomorrow will be held Saturday, June 14, from 10am to 4pm throughout the WPI campus.

We attended a couple of years ago and it was sooo good.  Highly recommended!

Take a look at the website for a full list of events.

On Saturday as well (Sunday rain date) from 11am-5pm, the third annual Worcester Day of Play will be held at Elm Park.  You can find a schedule of events on their website.


For those keeping track of prostitution stings in Worcester (and I hope it’s not just me), the WPD has reported another sting since I wrote about this last week.

Fourteen people were arrested.  Ten of them were women.

So, for 2014, 78% of those arrested in prostitution stings have been women.

I’m not sure how that is equitable, and I’m not sure how targeting women to the extreme ultimately helps “eradicate the prostitution problem from this area of the city.”

Here’s how we’re looking this year:

March 20, 2014: 0 men, 5 women

May 21, 2014: 2 men, 6 women

June 5, 2014: 4 men, 10 women

And let’s keep in mind that “The Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment (art. 106 of the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution) requires that a common nightwalking charge against a female defendant be dismissed with prejudice upon an appropriate showing that the particular police department or prosecutor’s office consistently prosecutes female nightwalkers but not their male customers.”

I’m not saying that’s what’s happening here, and I’m not a lawyer, but if you are charged with being a common nightwalker or streetwalker, you should speak to your lawyer if you don’t see your clients being charged with the associated crime.

And perhaps we can work our way down from women being charged with over three quarters of prostitution-related offenses.